Thursday, November 29, 2012

What If Money Didn't Matter?

Extremely inspirational video, right?
I liked it a lot.

Thanksgiving Sweet Rolls

I'm a bit late posting about my Thanksgiving, but let me tell you, it was awesome! Although I missed my family terribly, I still had a great experience this year. I spent my 5 day break in a high rise condo overlooking downtown Chicago. The view was GORGEOUS!!! Especially at night. I loved it.

This Thanksgiving, I wanted to try cooking some dishes for the dinner. I ended up making some candied yams, a green bean casserole, and some yummy rolls made from scratch.

Cooking in a kitchen you're not familiar with is tricky. It took me forever finding everything I needed for the rolls. The last thing I needed to find was flour. I finally found it in a huge container marked "all purpose flour." I have made these rolls before, so I knew I could do it, but I left my recipe in Utah. After calling my grandma for the recipe, I was ready to get started. I followed the recipe my grandma gave me exactly. By the time my 6 cups of flour had been added, my dough was still pure liquid. That shouldn't have been happening! I called my grandma back and told her what happened. She told me to try a different way. I tried it the other way, but for some reason I just couldn't get the dough right. I was feeling really confused as to why it wasn't working when all of the sudden someone says, "Is that even flour?"

Well... It looked like flour, felt like flour, the container it was in was marked flour. Of course I thought it was flour! That's when I tasted it. Powdered Sugar. I was using POWDERED SUGAR. Duh, Ashley! No wonder the dough was liquid!

Needless to say, after one more try and using actual flour, I got the dough right and my rolls turned out awesome. I was very proud! Also a bit embarrassed, but hey, I eventually got it right.

That's just one of those stories I'll always remember when looking back on my Thanksgivings. One of the best ones yet! Can't wait for years to come. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homeowner Horrors

A few months ago, I had to deal with the carpet in my room flooding from a huge rain storm we had out here. It took me WEEKS to get the nasty mildew smell out of the carpet. As soon as I thought everything was ok, we had another storm. I had put towels by my window as a precaution just in case we did have another one. Those didn't help at all. My carpet was re-flooded. After a few MORE weeks of dealing with my stupid carpet problem, I finally won. The smell is gone and everything.

Well today, I was down in my room quickly grabbing something when all of the sudden I hear this loud pressure of water through the pipes, then a huge gushing sound coming from the storage room. I wasn't sure what it was, so I went to check it out. To my horror, I saw that the water softener had exploded and there was water spraying everywhere! I panicked! I didn't know where the main water valve was to shut it off! I called my employer's father because he lives literally 2 minutes away, but there was no answer. I booked it to the neighbor's house, but they weren't home. I called my other employer's father that lives about 10 minutes away, and luckily he said he'd rush right over. In the meantime while I was waiting for him to get there (which felt like forever) I was running outside around the house like an idiot trying to find the valve. I then ran around the inside of the house like an idiot trying to find the valve. Heck, I even tried calling my own father in Utah just for moral support, but he was at work like I thought he would be. Heh, heh, I was just desperate! I was so stressed out, I was on the verge of tears. All I could think about was the water filling up in the back room. I was letting my imagination get away with me and could just see the water rushing into my room and ruining everything in its path.

The kids' Opa finally showed up. I was so happy to see him. He's quite the handy man. He's the one that fixed my window leaking problem, so I knew he could help me. He found the valve and shut off the water. The water softener hasn't completely stopping spilling out water yet, but it's controllable right now. All the water is able to go down a drain, making it so no other rooms are going to flood. (keeping my fingers crossed) We are currently waiting on someone with more plumbing experience to come over and take a look.

I now realize the true horrors homeowners have to go through. I never realized it before because I had my handy man daddy at home that would handle our problems while I was just the "nothing's wrong in life" teenager oblivious to anything that WOULD happen.

This growing up stuff is intense. I've now experienced full blown motherhood, and awful things that can happen to your home. Man, I need to start learning more things about houses and stuff because I'd be useless to myself if I was ever alone in a situation like this.

So I guess moral of the story:
Learn where to shut off your main water! Or know someone who does =]

All Hallow's Eve

Can I just say that Halloween is A LOT more fun when you have children? I enjoyed it so much more this year than I have years prior.

The kids kicked off the countdown to Halloween by helping me decorate my room. They each made a pumpkin and helped me cut out some other cute patterns. I did buy a couple of decorations, but not many. I wanted simple and easy decorations, and let's face it, homemade is much more fun as well.

Here are the decorations I had up:

DQ cut those out of a magazine for me so I kind of had to put them up
DQ knows I like owls so she made this for me
Pumpkins: Ladybug's, Marvel's, mine, and DQ's
Costumes were the most fun out of everything for me. I now understand why my mother always went above and beyond with mine and my brother's costumes. You want your kid to look cool! Marvel chose to be Thor, (of course!) Ladybug was Strawberry Shortcake, and DQ was a masquerade fairy. They all looked so cute. I obviously can't post pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for me. As for me, I was a mermaid.
I forgot to get a picture of myself with the full effect. I put decorative netting all over my shirt and pants. I didn't wear a tailfin or anything. It was simple, but I liked it a lot.
Last but not least, we have the PUMPKINS! All the kids ditched me in the process of carving them. 3 and 1/2 hours and 3 awesome pumpkins later we have these results:
DQ's pattern of choice
Marvel's ninja turtle and Ladybug's Ariel
We only had 3 trick or treaters total come to the door. And the kids got a TON of candy. We all had a great time this Halloween. Loved spending it with the kiddos.